She’d looked for heaven
in the blood
of her children’s birth,
in the village hunt,
and in the return of rain.
When she didn’t find it
at the end of the year,
when the apocalypse did not
occur on schedule,
she left the cult’s compound
to return home,
bringing her money and belongings
Three months later, they beckoned.
“We’re certain you’ll find heaven
join us in the field,
where we’ll open the pearly gates.”
Her husband followed her
out to the field’s edge, saying
“Jesus went to heaven after death, and
his mother, Mary, went to heaven after death,
who are you to go to heaven
Days later, he again stood
at the field’s edge
looking down into a pit,
trying to find her body
among all the others.
After her father died in 1993, Carla Traylor Griswold turned to poetry
to discover how "death gives life its clarities" (H. McHugh). She enjoys
exploring the mystery of edges, borders, grief, and all the colors loss
comes in. Her collection titled Missing Women 1969-1993 was published
by C.J. Ink in 1998. She is a media producer and soccer mom and resides
in The Center of the Universe (the Fremont neighborhood) in Seattle, Washington.